Q&A With Huntington Beach High School Alumna and Singer-Songwriter Olivia Ooms

Photograph by Emily J. Davis

When did you start pursuing music as a career?
When I was 11, I got really close with a Kidz Bop audition; I was actually in the top 11 of thousands of people who auditioned. I didn’t end up getting that, but it pushed me to get singing lessons and learn how to play guitar. It was kind of a pivotal moment where I was like, “OK, I am going to actually take this seriously.”

Can you describe your sound?
I am still finding my sound, and I am always learning and finding new music that I like and want to sing. Right now, I’m focusing on this Americana-country, kind of rock-country, that has my coastal roots—because I’m from California and I want to embrace the fact that I am not from the South and that I didn’t grow up on a farm or anything.

Who inspires you?
I always say Shania Twain because she is just so powerful, and I love covering her songs. They fit my voice really well. For songwriting, Old Dominion and Luke Combs are absolutely spectacular.

Tell us about your new music.
My new song is called “Hideaway,” and it’s about that saying: Let go and let God. It’s not a worship song at all, but it’s based on just taking your hands off of your life and letting the universe kind of guide you. My other song is “Name on This Town,” which originally was referencing me going out to Nashville, but now it has morphed into me and my friends going off to college and leaving our safe space here in Orange County. It’s a banger.

Hear more!
Watch music videos and learn about upcoming shows at oliviaooms.com.

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